Metro Momentum: Beaty students finish first in state STEM contest

Photo provided to the Times Observer Ty Bryan, Ashton Carrington and Ellsie Wilson, with their advisor Meggi Brown, took first in Pennsylvania in the eCybermission Virtual STEM competition. Their design? A drone aimed to analyze the characteristics of thriving communities to assist places like Warren County that are experiencing population decline.

A trio of sixth graders at Beaty-Warren Middle School took first in the state in an engineering design STEM contest.

And they did it while exploring a social issue that is deeply impacting Warren County.

Ty Bryan, Ashton Carrington and Ellise Wilson worked with advisor Meggi Brown to put together the winning proposal in the eCybermission Virtual STEM Competition.

The good news came last Friday, along with $1,000 savings bond prizes for each of the students.

“The three students were tasked to use the engineering design process to explore a community problem and come up with a solution,” Brown, the STEM instructor at Beaty, said. “They chose to take a closer look at the population decrease in Warren County.”

“Many problems emerge from this such as local businesses closing frequently, lack of up-to-date medical equipment and technology, and the closure to many schools due to insufficient student numbers,” the students wrote in their proposal. “We aim to solve this problem by programming a robot that analyzes the key factors thriving populated communities possess and comparing them to what Warren County lacks.”

As part of the planning, they also analyzed the benefits of reversing the population trend.

“These advantages include an improved economy, the creation of more job opportunities, and the establishment of ideal living conditions for those wishing to start their own families in Warren County,” they wrote. “Additionally, the heightened number of consumers purchasing products significantly boosts the overall economy.”

Their specific proposal is a drone – Metro Momentum.

The drone is “designed to scan and analyze key factors of thriving communities, and to bring the data back to our community to help population growth,” Brown explained. “They showed great teamwork, creativity and innovation as they tackled this challenge.”

It may be fair to call the topic esoteric, especially for sixth graders.

But the proposal outlines that they understand the ramifications of the issues at play.

“We want to solve this problem because if we are able to successfully accomplish this task in the manner that we have selected, the future generations of our county will thrive in many ways such as the ones that we have listed,” they concluded.

“One reason this is personal to us is that if we were to start a family here in Warren County we would want it to be the safest and most enjoyable it can be. This could be achieved by raising the population. We want to learn what some effective ways to boost population are, and how to do it in safe ways.”

“We chose a really unique problem,” Wilson acknowledged.

“I liked trying to solve a problem for our community alongside Ashton and Ellise,” Bryan added.

“We had a good idea and worked well together as a group which ended up making a project that turned out pretty spiffy,” Carrington said.

“The team created a Mission Folder which outlined their whole project including their research, problem and solution, blueprint, prototype, data and the community benefit,” Brown said. “It took a lot of collaboration and dedication to complete this project but they did a wonderful job working together as a team.”


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